Last evening Julie, the boys and I along with another couple traveled to Syracuse, NY to see the 30th anniversary of the classic film “Christmas Vacation”. This event was held at the beautiful Landmark Theater in downtown Syracuse and was followed by an hour long Q&A with none other than Clark W. Griswold himself.
The Landmark was completely sold out to the tune of 2,800 seats. I won’t lie the seating is cramped. I loved this event and to see Christmas Vacation on the big screen was just great. At the end of the movie where aunt Bethany sings the National Anthem the entire theater sang right along.
A few minutes after the movies end Chevy Chase came out for a Q&A about this movie and others along with some Saturday Night Live stuff as well. I didn’t realize until last night that Chevy Chase is 76 years old. I’ve always envisioned him as Clark Griswold.
July 15th 2015 Michael and I summited Whiteface Mountain in New York’s Adirondack Park. To date it is our only high peak, however we hope to change that this year conquering another.
Our day started out rainy but like they say wait 10 minutes and it will change. We were treated with a glorious day for hiking and once reaching the summit we decided to change things up a bit. Choosing the road more traveled Michael and I hiked down the auto road instead, continuing to drink in those stunning views.
It was August 2009 and we were vacationing in western Maine at the Sunday River Resort in Newry. A spectacular evening was upon us as we had just finished dinner and the boys wanted to go fishing, driving a few miles east to North and South ponds in Greenwood. Locals had told us that fishing from Johnny Bridge Road was good, so here we stood. The boys were becoming professional weed fisherman and dad an expert lure changer. Another cast another clump of weeds. Well when they reeled up this clump it began to move only to reveal a small mouth bass. To say Michael & Max were ecstatic would be a slight under statement. It would be the perfect ending to a beautiful evening with my boys.
Growing up I had the Atlantic Ocean less than twenty miles away and the Long Island Sound a mile away and I’ve never been a beach person. However living so close to these beautiful waters the one thing that has always intrigued me are “Lighthouses”. There is something very romantic yet mysterious about a lighthouse and their keepers.
This past summer we had the opportunity to visit the Upper Peninsula of Michigan along Lake Superior. We found ourselves at Whitefish Point 73 miles northwest of Sault Ste. Marie, MI and the impressive Soo Locks. At Whitefish Point you have the Great Lakes Ship Wreck Museum and the extremely cool Whitefish Point Light Station.
At this point in our trip I was having a camera crisis of Biblical proportion. I had run out of film for one of my cameras and ordered more. The camera shop in New York City did not ship my order promptly and I never received the film. No biggie I thought to myself I have my digital camera so I’m all set. We get all the way to the Soo Locks and I’m just as excited as a kid on Christmas morning. Grabing my camera from the camera bag I turn it on, I compose my very first image of the largest lake freighter to sail the Great Lakes entering the locks. I depress the shutter release and the earth suddenly has come to a screeching halt. There it was in digital text, the dreaded Canon Error 33 message, my shutter had failed! East has now become west, up was now down and to say I was pissed is the understatement of the 21st century. Two cameras and none were functioning. If I had to submit to a blood pressure test at this point they would have admitted me. I resorted to using my cell phone and we eventually we went to lunch. After lunch I calmed down just a tiny bit but was still steaming. Getting ready to leave Sault Ste. Marie and thinking desperate times require desperate measures. As a last ditch effort I ran into one of the gift shops hoping the camera Gods would be merciful on me. Sure enough sitting on the counter of the gift shop was a Polaroid disposable camera. I Forked over the $8.00 feeling like I had just won a major award and literally ran out the door. We were now on our way to Whitefish Point. http://www.shipwreckmuseum.com
I made my first visit to the Windy City back in July. My wife and sons have already spent time here before so this was unchartered territory for me. We were staying with family in one of the suburbs of Chicago and rode the Metra into the city the several days we were there. We navigated the city by either walking or riding the subway which is affectionately knows as the “L”. Riding the “L” opened up a whole new perspective on photography for me. I instantly fell in love with the intricate infrastructure cramped between towering buildings, parking garages and everyday life below. The photographic possibilities are endless and all you need is time.
Prior to my arrival in Chicago I had done absolutely no research on this gem so I was totally in the dark as to the “Prime” locations in which to photograph. The day I made the most of my images started off bright and sunny with weather conditions crumbling like an old building as the day progressed. I believe I have created several images that convey mood, as most of these were grab shots. I particularly like the ones where I was shooting out the front window as we rode the “L”. I shot color slide film but really liked them even more converted to black & white.
The other day I had mentioned to my wife how we need to return so I can spend a good 3-4 days photographing the “L” now that I have done my research.
Here you’ll find a link to an image from Lake & Wells on the Chicago “L”. It was photographed from either a parking garage or rooftop. However it gives you the perspective of its complexity. I love it! https://flic.kr/p/rUyXih
I began shooting slide film around 1990 but most of the images I made at this point were mostly captured on print film, something I regret. I didn’t really begin to convert solely to slide film until early 1992 and have been shooting it ever since. I’ll admit that in 2005 I was intrigued by the digital camera and purchased my first DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera. I enjoyed it and made some great images with it as well. I loved the instant gratification of viewing the picture immediately. I also liked the fact that outside the camera and flash card there was no additional cost of film purchase and processing. I vowed to never shoot another roll of film again.
That vow would only last about 6 months before I found myself lacking in something I craved the most. A tangible asset. I would go on to own more DSLR camera bodies as well as film bodies. I spent several years arguing the film vs. digital argument only to realize that it all boils down to preference and what your goals are. There is room in my camera bag for both film and digital.
Our world moves at the speed of now and that is why I carry a DSLR with me most of the time. News happens at a moments notice!
A passion of mine is to preserve history and I choose to do my preservation through photography. No matter the subject matter or the camera you use every click of the shutter captures a moment in time, a piece of our history and for me that is most important. Over the past 24 years I have been documenting my career mostly on film but I do have several hundred images made with a digital camera. I have also been documenting our family as well which is 90% slide film and 10% digital. Without an actual physical count I’d have to estimate my family slide collection hovers somewhere near 8,000 images of which only half have been filed. I just received another 216 slides the other day from the holidays.
Another reason I still shoot slide film is because of monetary value. Collectors want originals. I’ve sold older slides from my collection on Ebay for some serious amounts of money. As a matter of fact I know people who do it for a living. They buy slide collections and break them up. This is both sad and fascinating as well. I’ve slowly been acquiring slides that I hope to flip in the near future but only time will tell.
Since Kodak has exited the slide film market entirely there are only several choices left in which to buy it. Agfa Photo has recently restarted its slide film business and I’m glad because I love the stuff compared to Fuji’s. Its comes done to personal choice. Also Kodak does not process film anymore and most film (Print) is either processed in house at local photo labs or stores like Walmart or CVS. Slide film processing is only done at a handful of locations around the United States with the most popular being Dwayne’s Photo in Parsons, Kansas.
Although those yellow Kodak boxes of joy that came in the mail are no longer I still get excited for those Red, White & Blue boxes from Dwayne’s!